BABSON PARK, Mass.—First-year Thomas Lapham (Charlestown, Mass.) drove in a season-high five runs and senior Nicholas Browne (Mount Laurel, N.J.) homered as part of a four-hit day and finished with four RBI as No 7/7 Babson College defeated 15th-ranked Wheaton College, 16-7, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament elimination game on Saturday afternoon at Sidell Stadium.
With the win, Babson improves to 31-6, while Wheaton (27-10) bows out of the tournament as the first top seed in NEWMAC history to drop its first two games.
Junior Matthew Valente (Wyckoff, N.J.) went 4-for-6 with an RBI and four runs scored, senior Eric Jaun (Loveland, Ohio) doubled, tripled and drove in three runs, and classmate Brian McHale (Ramsey, N.J.) was 3-for-5 with a double to go along with two walks for the Beavers. Junior Jake Oliger (Newtown, Conn.) had two singles, two walks and two stolen bases, while senior Edward Lehr (Byram Township, N.J.) also walked twice and crossed the plate four times in the victory.
Sophomore Jordy Allard (Woodstock, Vt.) worked into the sixth and improved to 6-0 on the year despite giving up seven runs. Babson's relief corps of senior Max Tannenbaum (Coral Springs, Fla.), junior William Gallagher (Kingston, Mass.) and sophomore Henry Leake (Burbank, Calif.) allowed just two hits over four scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Junior Bryan Salkind (Rochester, Mass.) and sophomores Brody Ashley (Stafford, N.H.), and George Mulcahey (Brooklyn, N.Y.) each doubled and finished with two hits apiece for the Lyons, who had seven different players drive in a run. Sophomore Paul Prue (Dennis, Mass.) got the start but fell to 4-2 with the loss after giving up four runs, three of them earned, on seven hits in three innings. All seven pitchers used by Wheaton allowed at least one run in the loss.
Lapham and McHale produced RBI singles in the second and Jaun came through with an RBI double in the top of the third to give the Green and White a 4-1 lead. Junior Nick Raposo (Johnston, R.I.) and senior Jared Sharkey (West Bridgewater, Mass.) trimmed the Lyons' deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the frame, only to see Babson responded with a seven-run fourth. Jaun drove in two with a triple to left center and Browne followed up an RBI single by Valente with a three-run blast, his ninth of the year, to make it 11-3.
Wheaton's first five hitters reached in the bottom of the sixth on the way to scoring four times to pull within 12-7 thanks to a pair of RBI singles, a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly by first-year Jacob Studley (Barrington, R.I.). The Beavers answered right back in the top of the seventh though, as Lehr started a two-out rally with a walk that led to RBI singles by Browne and Lapham to extend the margin back to 14-7.
Lapham later capped his postseason debut with a two-run double in the ninth.
Babson returns to action on Sunday when it travels to Northborough, Mass., to face second-seeded WPI in an elimination game at 12 p.m. The winner advances to face fourth-seeded MIT at 3 p.m.
• The Beavers are 29-44 all-time against Wheaton and won their fifth straight postseason game to improve to 10-10 in the conference playoffs versus the Lyons.
• Saturday's 16-run outburst are the most runs Babson has scored against Wheaton since an 18-4 win in 2011.
• The Beavers' 21 hits are their most since recording 24 in a 26-1 victory over WPI on April 5, 2018.
• Babson improved to 17-3 away from home this season with Saturday's victory.